May 23, 2018, 10:57 am IST
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Kochi Metro: A leap against time

Kochi Metro: A leap against time

 Jun 14, 2017

It was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, way back in the sixties who dubbed Kerala as "a problem state" where nothing grows. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on June 17, flags off Kochi Metro , the prestigious project of the state, will it herald a new era for the southern Indian state, is what is being eagerly watched. Modi is flying down to Kerala's port city Kochin on Saturday exclusively to inaugurate the Kochi Metro. a joint center-state venture. No project has ever been commissioned in the state in so short a time. Precisely therefore this should help boost the sagging image of Kerala.

Nevertheless, the Kochi Metro project was never free from controversies, which mostly wee the creation of successive state governments. Even the formal inauguration was a topic of controversy as it was alleged earlier by BJP that the LDF regime in the state was in a bid to evade the Prime Minister for the function. But there is no denying that not a single man day was lost in the completion of the project, something unprecedented in Kerala with its allegedly strike happy work force.However whether the ambitious project will prove a financial disaster in due course is to be waited and watched for.

Inauguration of Kochi Metro has again been drawn into a controversy with the Metro Man, E. Sreedharan being excluded from the list of dignitaries sharing the dais with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. Also the Opposition Leader in the Kerala Assembly, the local MP. MLA and the Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd are not included in the list.

However there is yet to be official confirmation on the reported final list of dignitaries sharing dais with the Prime Minister. Security reasons are being attributed to the decision to minimise those on the dais to four people other than the Prime Minister,The final list is subject to approval by SPG, Many eyebrows have been raised over the non-inclusion of the god, guide and philosopher of Kochi Metro, Sreedhaan on the dais at the inaugural function.The chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan himself has written to the Prime minister to include E Sreedharan and the leader of opposition on the dais  with the prime minister 

The project on which Rs 5,181 crore is already spent was originally mooted in 1999 when the E.K.Nayanar ministry was in office in the state.It was the V.S.Achuthanandan ministry that gave approval for Kochi Metro Rail project in January 2008. The foundation stone was laid on September 13, 2012 and construction work started on June 7, 2013.The UDF government under Oommen Chandy tried their  best to execute the project much before the election but it had to wait one more year to see the ride happening .It s also a jewel in the crown for E Sreedharan and DMRC, which has successfully completed the project 

Th first stage of Kochi Metro stretching 13 KM from Aluva to Palaivattam will be commercially commissioned by the Prime Minister on Saturday. Prior to that the Prime Minister himself, along with other dignitaries including the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will take a ride from Palarivattam to Pathadippalam. The scond stage, from Palarivattam to Maharaja's College grounds is scheduled to be operational from August, 2017.

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